DALLAS – Quinn Buckner can sympathize with what Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is going through this season.
Bucker coached the Mavs to a 13-69 record during the 1993-’94 season after they started that year 1-23. The Mavs haven’t played that poorly until this season, when they’ll take a 5-17 record into Saturday’s game in Houston.
"It’s been tough for them,’’ said Buckner, an analyst on the Indiana Pacers’ TV broadcast. "First of all you’ve got a better coach than you had with me, I can tell you, because Rick is a better coach and he’s coached a lot and I think that’s going to help.’’
The Mavs fired Buckner two days after his only season coaching in Dallas. Yet he has no regrets, but he knows of the pain Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban are experiencing.
"This is a cyclical kind of business and with the way that the new collective bargaining came into play, you miss on about three players, and it doesn’t take but a cycle of about two or three years for you to all of a sudden re-do,’’ Buckner said. "And that’s what Mark and Rick are dealing with.
"You made the run after DeAndre Jordan (in 2015) and didn’t get him, and others, and you didn’t get them.’’
After the Mavs defeated the Pacers, 111-103, Buckner gave Mavs management a thorough pat on the back for signing Harrison Barnes, whom the Mavs inked to a four-year, $94 million free agent contract this past summer.
"I tell you what, they’ve done a good job because Harrison Barnes is going to be alright,’’ Buckner said. "But you’re just going to have to get some more players with him.’’